A while ago, you started hearing about "the cloud", right? Now, it's a common term, despite it's meaning still being subject to some interpretation. Cloud computing, cloud storage – it's gone from being something new and cutting-edge, to just the way things are done. As we've learned our way through a new method of organizing and storing our data, that method has been evolving right along with us. Just as individual on-premises servers became more and more complex in their evolution to the data center, cloud computing capabilities are growing with our increasing needs. Storage requirements and security necessities are pushing new technology forward. With more (figurative) moving parts, there is now an emergent need for a means to simply manage a complex process.
Enter the term "cloud ecosystem". You might have heard this term thrown around lately by various professionals in the IT industry. What exactly does it mean? Well, similar to 'cloud' itself, it's also a term subject to some interpretation. Generally, it refers to the entirety of your cloud environment – cloud providers, managed services partners, security, the works. When we add 'management' onto the end of that phrase, we're now referring to the integration of all those various components of your cloud environment.
Why is there a new term for this at all? IT service providers are adapting to the new concept of cloud computing by making a concerted effort to simplify your life. "Cloud ecosystem management" captures the very much alive and agile nature of the cloud; different components may come from different sources and providers, but they must all live and co-exist for you to have a smoothly functioning system. The more demands on the technology, the more complex it becomes, and the more need there is for symbiosis – like an ecosystem. What if your IT infrastructure (like most of ours) is still part cloud-based, part on-prem servers? The paradigm shift towards cloud computing allows for physical hardware to be included in the term "cloud ecosystem management" - physical servers count as a part of the ecosystem. Microsoft answers this potential continuity issue with their Operations Management Suite. OMS is a cloud-based administration software that allows you to oversee the integration of your cloud and on-premises infrastructure together. Operating in the Azure cloud, OMS gives you the versatility to quickly and efficiently gain holistic insight to your IT environment, effectively allowing you to manage much of your infrastructure from one central platform.
To sum it all up, “cloud ecosystem” might sound a bit flowery, but it’s a great way to describe the whole of your cloud infrastructure in a succinct way. As we continue forward in the development of cloud technology, the concept of the cloud as a living ecosystem accurately reflects the interdependent nature of our current and future IT environment.